Arriving in January as one of several signings under newly appointed manager Alan Pardew, Jordan Mutch has made seven appearances this season and is happy to be working for a club he believes is ‘going places’.
Although yet to start a game, Mutch knows a strong squad of players is integral for any team looking to do well in the Premier League, where managers often rotate their team to keep players fresh.
“Everyone is on their game at the minute, and our league position shows how strong the team is. That strength in depth means that if someone drops off we’ve got players who can replace them and make a difference, and that puts us in a really strong position.”
The lack of playing time hasn’t affected the midfielder’s determination to get into the starting line-up, and is confident his opportunity will come with games coming thick and fast over the festive period.
“Of course I want to play more, but we’ve got a big squad with a lot of quality players so for me it’s all about trying to break into the team and then get that run of games to show what I can do. There’s a lot of matches coming up over Christmas and then the FA Cup, so hopefully I get more minutes on the pitch.”
Looking ahead to Stoke and a tricky game at the Britannia Stadium, Mutch believes away games suit the team’s style of play, and says the side will be looking to take six points from their next two matches.
“It suits our game playing away from home especially with the pace we have in the team, and the way we defend our box makes it hard for teams to break us down. I know the weather will be a factor but it’s just like any other game, and if we set our stall out the way we’ve been working on all week hopefully we can get the result.”
Currently sitting in eleventh place but only three points below the Eagles in sixth, Stoke’s position is a reflection of how few points there are between the top 10 teams.
“Stoke have got a great squad and I’m sure they’ll do well this season. They’ve recently come on really strong and will be looking to continue that in the second half of the season. From tenth place onwards every team will be looking to reach that Europa League spot and I think it’s anyone’s for the taking – I just hope come May it’ll be us who takes it.”
to watch the pre-match manager's press conference.